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Church State Issues

Linda Turley-Hansen wants the government to force her brand of Christianity on the rest of us????

Feb 2, 2014

East Valley Tribune

Linda Turley-Hansen wants the government to force her brand of Christianity on the rest of us????

I am not quite sure what flavor of Christianity Linda Turley-Hansen wants to force on us, maybe Mormonism because she is talking about Gilbert in this editorial. But if you have read the Arizona or US Constitutions, prayer and religion belong in churches, mosques, synagogs and private homes, not in government buildings or meetings.


Turley-Hansen: 21st century war on God loses battle in Gilbert

• East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen (turleyhansen@gmail.com) is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor.

Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 8:49 am

By Linda Turley-Hansen, contributing columnist

“It’s not OK anymore to be silent,” said a young mother of four children who had never been to a Gilbert Public School Governing Board meeting.

That quote shared with GilbertWatch.com was from Anita Christy, who watched the dramatic twist this past week in the fight to put audible prayer back into board meetings. She says it was an “extraordinary evening.”

If you live in the East Valley, you might know of the debate regarding opening prayer at the board meetings. It’s been more than a decade since prayer was replaced by the ever so politically correct “moment of silence.”

Since that time, citizens have vowed not to let the matter rest. Tuesday, they were triumphant. The board returned the audible invocation. A courageous move. [By citizens, I think she means a very small minority of Christian fundamentalists who want to force their brand of Christianity on the rest of us, not most Americans who have not desire to use government to force their religion on others]

Of course, this fight will never end. History, in and out of the church, tells of the constant battle for and against recognition of God. [Sorry in the American system of government you have a right to recognize God in your home, business or church, but for force others to recognize your God in government buildings and meetings]

In my lifetime: 50 years ago, anti-God citizens won a biggie. [Sorry Linda Turley-Hansen, I think what you mean is the people have kept the right to prevent government from mixing church and state. You seem angry because you can't use government to force your brand of Christianity on the rest of us] The U. S. Supreme Court ruled God out, for the most part, of the public arena. [That's rubbish, the Supreme Court has ruled government can't force religion on the people. Pray always has been allowed by private citizens both in the private sector and on public property] It acted in response to petitions by the now infamous Madalyn Murray O’Hare, an atheist activist whose demise was, oddly enough, by murder (another story, another time). And, with that, with each decade, evidence of Deity is being purged from plain sight; hidden, locked away because it’s so “dangerous.” [Again that is rubbish. Pray and God have always been allowed in the private sector.]

I believe the board voted correctly, not because I absolutely believe in God and His place in public life, but because this East Valley community is known to be filled with believers; filled with churches, of people who worship. [Well then let them worship in their churches and homes. There is not need for them to force others to listen to their prayers at government meetings] That prayer, at that board meeting, represents the majority of citizens in Gilbert. I will never be convinced that children attending board meetings will be harmed by hearing someone speak to the Deity of their choice. [What I think your saying is it won't hurt Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and atheist children to be forced by the government to learn your flavor of religion]

The admirable trend to acknowledge minority groups in our great nation has long passed its tipping point. When the minority overturns the majority regarding time honored, major issues, we need to reconsider. [Again that's rubbish. Minorities have never gotten the government to force their religion on you or anybody else. These minorities have demanded that the government honour the First Amendment and not force the religion of the majority on them] I’m good with courtesy, respect of other’s beliefs, but still, when they tread in sacred territory (pun intended), I’m happy to show them the door.

Even the most reasonable must admit, what has replaced God does not equal that which has been banned. We now worship greed and materialism and unearned gain and government. Personal responsibility has disappeared and protection of the most fragile among us, the born and the unborn, is no longer honored. You and I are forced to pay from our personal bank accounts for such egregious practices.

Oh yes, we’re aware the courts will do their thing, but the board’s message is enormously important in this age old battle. As the young mother said, we must not go silent.

We know religion holds a vital place in society. It needs its space to do so. Every lawful voice should be heard in the public square; secular and religious. Religion is not simply private worship. It’s about public expression on social and moral issues. Just as atheism is.

Anita Christy reflects: “I know this sounds a little dramatic, but honestly, it almost seemed like God was present. Maybe because His name was stated aloud so many times from a place where His name could not be mentioned, He decided to come down and find out what was going on. What a lovely thought.”

• East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen (turleyhansen@gmail.com) is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor.